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Tephritid Flies

My first Tephritid flies of the year: two male Tephritis neesii (Diptera: Tephritidae) competing for dominance of an ox-eye daisy plant (Leucanthemum vulgare).  The females lay their eggs in the developing ox-eye daisy flower heads.  Presumably the males that dominate the best flower heads get to mate with the best females.

It seems that the cold spring has not prevented a repeat of the T. neesii plague that occurred last year.  I saw hundreds of these flies on my walk round the lakes on Monday; there must have been around 3 or 4 on every ox-eye daisy plant that I looked at.

Photos taken in Whiteknights Park, Reading, UK, on 2013-05-06.

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